Popular, eerily-humanlike OpenAI chatbot ChatGPT was built on the backs of underpaid and psychologically exploited employees, according to a new investigation by TIME. A Kenya-based data labeling team, managed by San Francisco firm Sama, reportedly was not only paid shockingly low wages doing work for a company that may be on track to receive a $10 billion investment from Microsoft, but also was subjected to disturbingly graphic sexual content in order to clean ChatGPT of dangerous hate speech and violence. Beginning in November 2021, OpenAI sent tens of thousands of text samples to the employees, who were tasked with combing the passages for instances of child sexual abuse, bestiality, murder, suicide, torture, self-harm, and incest, TIME reported. Members of the team spoke of having to read hundreds of these types of entries a day; for hourly wages that raged from $1 to $2 an hour, or a $170 monthly salary, some employees felt that their jobs were "mentally scarring" and a certain kind of "torture." Sama employees reportedly were offered wellness sessions with counselors, as well as individual and group therapy, but several employees interviewed said the reality of mental healthcare at the company was disappointing and inaccessible.
ChatGPT was hailed as one 2022's most impressive technological innovations upon its release last November. The powerful artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot can generate text on almost any topic or theme, from a Shakespearean sonnet reimagined in the style of Megan Thee Stallion, to complex mathematical theorems described in language a 5 year old can understand. Within a week, it had more than a million users. ChatGPT's creator, OpenAI, is now reportedly in talks with investors to raise funds at a $29 billion valuation, including a potential $10 billion investment by Microsoft. That would make OpenAI, which was founded in San Francisco in 2015 with the aim of building superintelligent machines, one of the world's most valuable AI companies.
Sign up to receive the Future Tense newsletter every other Saturday. The U.N.'s COP27 climate summit kicks off on Nov. 6 in Egypt, inviting us, once again, to consider whether we're doing enough, fast enough, to stave off climate chaos and the suffering that will come with it. The scale of change required is head-spinningly drastic, so even unexpectedly rapid expansions in clean energy won't do much to curb malaise and doomsaying. Here in the U.S., the Inflation Reduction Act, the biggest climate investment in the nation's history, has been met, largely, with collective indifference, despite positive buzz about its potential effectiveness. The bill was, predictably, passed without any Republican votes, a grim reminder of the scale of climate denialism.
AI has extraordinary potential and developing countries must move forward quickly in this field to leverage their technological prowess, productivity, and competitiveness. Certainly, investing in R&D, developing capacities, and retaining AI talent is much easier said than done. Besides adopting a national AI strategy, if there is none, developing countries could put into practice a roadmap with clearly defined priorities and projects that bolster the economy. They can also build partnerships and reach out to other countries and organizations that are willing to cooperate in frontier technologies. A niche strategy might help to leapfrog in a few select sectors, as in the case of some small states that have become active players in the digital sphere. Interestingly enough, Kenya became last August the first African country to teach coding as a subject in schools. As stated in the UNCTAD 2021 Digital Economy report, developing countries risk becoming mere providers of data, while having to pay for digital intelligence produced with their data. Current international regulatory frameworks tend to be either too narrow in scope or too limited geographically, failing to enable cross-border data flows with an equitable sharing of economic gains. In a nutshell, developing countries need to find the optimal balance between promoting domestic economic development, protecting public policy interests, and integrating into the global digital ecosystem.
Most impressively, Samasource has overcome a problem that most Silicon Valley firms are famously grappling with. Just over half of their workforce is made up of women, a remarkable feat in a country where starting a family more often than not rules out a career for the mother. Here, a lactation room, up to 90 days maternity leave, and flexibility around shift patterns makes the firm a stand-out example of inclusivity not just in Kenya, but globally.
An artificial intelligence (AI) system detects tuberculosis (TB) in chest X-rays at a level comparable to radiologists, according to a study published in Radiology. Researchers said the AI system may be able to aid screening in areas with limited radiologist resources. TB is an infectious disease of the lungs that kills more than a million people worldwide every year. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem, with recent reports indicating that 21% fewer people received care for TB in 2020 than in 2019. Almost 90% of the active TB infections occur in about 30 countries, many with scarce resources needed to address this public health problem.
The way Timnit Gebru sees it, the foundations of the future are being built now. In Silicon Valley, home to the world's biggest tech companies, the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution is already well under way. Software is being written and algorithms are being trained that will determine the shape of our lives for decades or even centuries to come. If the tech billionaires get their way, the world will run on artificial intelligence. Cars will drive themselves and computers will diagnose and cure diseases. Art, music and movies will be automatically generated.
My co-authors were Christine Strutt of Von Seidels in Cape Town, South Africa and Francine Ward of the Law Office of Francine D. Ward, Palm Desert, California. The article published by INTA in its February 9, 2022, Bulletin, explains how artificial intelligence (AI) is replacing trademark's function in brand selection. Here is a summary of the article. Traditionally, trademarks were shortcuts, identifying and distinguished goods in the marketplace in response to a buyer's needs and self-selected criteria. Trademarks have also protected against human frailty by alleviating confusion, imitation, disparagement and misrepresentation. AI is altering a consumer's browsing, selection and purchasing process.
At a time when AI conferences were geared towards research & academia, the AI Summit launched in 2015; the first-ever conference & exhibition globally to explore what AI practically means for enterprises. Partnering with IBM Watson, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, PwC and Intel among many others, we took the world's business community by storm in London, San Francisco, Singapore, Cape Town, Tokyo and New York City. Now with six sold-out conferences and exhibitions running annually, a global media site and a members-only collaborative forum, The AI Summit Series brings together over 20,000 representatives from the world's leading organisations to engage in meaningful conversations on how to prepare for an AI-powered future.
Organized by Divine Fuh, HUMA – Institute for Humanities in Africa at the University of Cape Town, South Africa and Fanny Chabrol, CEPED-IRD, France and funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Wenner-Gren Foundation, this workshop is located within the framework of the project Future Hospitals: 4IR/AI and the Ethics of Care at HUMA – Institute for Humanities in Africa headed by Divine Fuh, and the "Hospital Multiple" at CEPED-IRD headed by Fanny Chabrol. The workshop aims at proposing new ethnographic methodological and conceptual tools to think and imagine the "hospital of the future" in Africa, in particular, the way artificial intelligence (AI) seeks to transform and is currently transforming access to health care in hospitals today and in the coming years. Our project aims to build a problematisation of the hospital of the future and an ethnographic method to critically analyse the ethical, regulatory, and political issues with respect to AI, healthcare, and hospitals on the continent. We consider the "hospital of the future" – through the digitalization and computer automation of healthcare – as a global promise that needs to be challenged by ethnographic methods within hospitals, engaging with persons interacting with them. The first line of inquiry will challenge the logic of adoption and Africa as a place where development policies are implemented, where infrastructure projects are developed, in which technological innovation, mainly coming from the West, is presented as the promise of better health for those in need.